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1 In the first yeere of Darius the sonne of Ahasuerus, of the seede of the Medes, which was made King ouer the realme of the Caldeans,

2 In the first yeere of his reigne, I Daniel vnderstood by bookes the number of the yeeres, whereof the word of the Lord came to Ieremiah the Prophet, that he would accomplish seuentie yeeres in the desolations of Ierusalem.

3 And I set my face vnto the Lord God to seeke by prayer, and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

4 And I prayed vnto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said; O Lord, the great and dreadfull God, keeping the couenant, and mercy to them that loue him, and to them that keepe his Commandements:

5 We haue sinned, and haue committed iniquitie, and haue done wickedly, and haue rebelled, euen by departing from thy precepts, and from thy iudgements.

6 Neither haue we hearkened vnto thy seruants the Prophets, which spake in thy Name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

7 O Lord, righteousnes belongeth vnto thee, but vnto vs confusion of faces, as at this day: to the men of Iudah, and to the inhabitants of Ierusalem, and vnto all Israel that are neere, and that are farre off, through all the countreys whither thou hast driuen them, because of their trespasse, that they haue trespassed against thee.

8 O Lord, to vs belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers; because we haue sinned against thee.

9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiuenesses, though we haue rebelled against him.

10 Neither haue we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walke in his Lawes which he set before vs, by his seruants the Prophets.

11 Yea, all Israel haue transgressed thy Law, euen by departing, that they might not obey thy voice, therefore the curse is powred vpon vs, and the othe that is written in the Law of Moses the seruant of God, because we haue sinned against him.

12 And he hath confirmed his words which he spake against vs, and against our Iudges that iudged vs, by bringing vpon vs a great euill: for vnder the whole heauen hath not bene done, as hath bene done vpon Ierusalem.

13 As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this euill is come vpon vs: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turne from our iniquities, and vnderstand thy trueth.

14 Therefore hath the Lord watched vpon the euil, and brought it vpon vs: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his workes, which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

15 And now O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renowne, as at this day, wee haue sinned, wee haue done wickedly.

16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousnes, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy furie bee turned away from thy citie Ierusalem, thy holy Mountaine: because for our sinnes, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Ierusalem and thy people are become a reproch to all that are about vs.

17 Now therefore, O our God, heare the prayer of thy seruant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine vpon thy Sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lords sake.

18 O my God, encline thine eare and heare: open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, & the city, which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

19 O Lord heare, O Lord forgiue, O Lord hearken and doe: deferre not for thine owne sake, O my God: for thy citie, & thy people are called by thy Name.

20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sinne, and the sinne of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God, for the holy Mountaine of my God:

21 Yea whiles I was speaking in praier, euen the man Gabriel, whom I had seene in the vision at the beginning, being caused to flie swiftly, touched me about the time of the euening oblation.

22 And he informed mee, and talked with mee, and said; O Daniel, I am now come foorth to giue thee skill and vnderstanding.

23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandement came forth, and I am come to shew thee: for thou art greatly beloued: therefore vnderstand the matter, & consider the vision.

24 Seuentie weekes are determined vpon thy people, and vpon thy holy citie, to finish the transgression, and to make an ende of sinnes, and to make reconciliation for iniquitie, and to bring in euerlasting righteousnes, and to seale vp the vision and prophecie, and to anoynt the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and vnderstand, that from the going foorth of the commandement to restore and to build Ierusalem, vnto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seuen weekes; and threescore and two weekes, the street shall be built againe, and the wall, euen in troublous times.

26 And after threescore and two weekes, shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himselfe, and the people of the Prince that shall come, shall destroy the citie, and the Sanctuarie, and the ende thereof shall be with a flood, and vnto the ende of the warre desolations are determined.

27 And hee shall confirme the couenant with many for one weeke: and in the midst of the weeke he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the ouerspreading of abominations hee shall make it desolate, euen vntill the consummation, & that determined, shalbe powred vpon the desolate.

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Commentary for Daniel 9

Daniel considers the time of the captivity. (1-3) His confession of sin, and prayer. (4-19) The revelation concerning the coming of the Messiah. (20-27)1-3 Daniel learned from the books of the prophets, especially from Jeremiah, that the desolation of Jerusalem would continue seventy years, which were drawing to a close. God's promises are to encourage our prayers, not to make them needless; and when we see the performance of them approaching, we should more earnestly plead them with God.

4-19 In every prayer we must make confession, not only of the sins we have been guilty of, but of our faith in God, and dependence upon him, our sorrow for sin, and our resolutions against it. It must be our confession, the language of our convictions. Here is Daniel's humble, serious, devout address to God; in which he gives glory to him as a God to be feared, and as a God to be trusted. We should, in prayer, look both at God's greatness and his goodness, his majesty and mercy. Here is a penitent confession of sin, the cause of the troubles the people for so many years groaned under. All who would find mercy must thus confess their sins. Here is a self-abasing acknowledgment of the righteousness of God; and it is evermore the way of true penitents thus to justify God. Afflictions are sent to bring men to turn from their sins, and to understand God's truth. Here is a believing appeal to the mercy of God. It is a comfort that God has been always ready to pardon sin. It is encouraging to recollect that mercies belong to God, as it is convincing and humbling to recollect that righteousness belongs to him. There are abundant mercies in God, not only forgiveness, but forgivenesses. Here are pleaded the reproach God's people was under, and the ruins God's sanctuary was in. Sin is a reproach to any people, especially to God's people. The desolations of the sanctuary are grief to all the saints. Here is an earnest request to God to restore the poor captive Jews to their former enjoyments. O Lord, hearken and do. Not hearken and speak only, but hearken and do; do that for us which none else can do; and defer not. Here are several pleas and arguments to enforce the petitions. Do it for the Lord Christ's sake; Christ is the Lord of all. And for his sake God causes his face to shine upon sinners when they repent, and turn to him. In all our prayers this must be our plea, we must make mention of his righteousness, even of his only. The humble, fervent, believing earnestness of this prayer should ever be followed by us.

20-27 An answer was immediately sent to Daniel's prayer, and it is a very memorable one. We cannot now expect that God should send answers to our prayers by angels, but if we pray with fervency for that which God has promised, we may by faith take the promise as an immediate answer to the prayer; for He is faithful that has promised. Daniel had a far greater and more glorious redemption discovered to him, which God would work out for his church in the latter days. Those who would be acquainted with Christ and his grace, must be much in prayer. The evening offering was a type of the great sacrifice Christ was to offer in the evening of the world: in virtue of that sacrifice Daniel's prayer was accepted; and for the sake of that, this glorious discovery of redeeming love was made to him. We have, in verses #24-27|, one of the most remarkable prophecies of Christ, of his coming and his salvation. It shows that the Jews are guilty of most obstinate unbelief, in expecting another Messiah, so long after the time expressly fixed for his coming. The seventy weeks mean a day for a year, or 490 years. About the end of this period a sacrifice would be offered, making full atonement for sin, and bringing in everlasting righteousness for the complete justification of every believer. Then the Jews, in the crucifixion of Jesus, would commit that crime by which the measure of their guilt would be filled up, and troubles would come upon their nation. All blessings bestowed on sinful man come through Christ's atoning sacrifice, who suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Here is our way of access to the throne of grace, and of our entrance to heaven. This seals the sum of prophecy, and confirms the covenant with many; and while we rejoice in the blessings of salvation, we should remember what they cost the Redeemer. How can those escape who neglect so great salvation!

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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